Jean-Jacques Cornish

Zuma seeks to take corruption prosecution back to the beginning

President Jacob Zuma’s been accused of delaying tactics to avoid his day in court facing prosecution on 783 charges of  fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

South Africa’s Appeal Court has reserved judgment in the matter as Zuma’s counsel seeks to take the eight-year legal battle all the way back to the beginning.

President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority appealed a High Court decision last year that dropping the charges against Zuma was irrational.

At the start of proceedings yesterday, Zuma’s counsel Kemp J Kemp made the shock admission that the decision by the then prosecuting authority head  Mokotedi Mpshe was based on the wrong statute.

Mpshe found that there were political motives for trying  Zuma on the charges relating to the 1999 arms procurement deal by the African National Congress government

However Kemp maintains that if the court  accepts this, the prosecution authority has to have an opportunity to make the correct decision.

This would put the matter into the hands  of the existing prosecution authority director Shaun Abrahams.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says Zuma’s making another bid to get corruption charges dropped and he’s confident he’ll get a sympathetic ear from Abrahams.

The Democratic Alliance , who took the matter to the High Court, says it will resume its legal battle if Zuma manages to dodge further court action.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.